March 23, 2018 by Sam Dodge
Chimezie Metu declared for the 2018 NBA Draft this morning, and deserves the respect of the frustrated fan base for executing his rights.
Andy Enfield has said it time and again this season, but his words bear repeating: “He has a 3.18 GPA, he has never missed a practice and is an upstanding individual.” Pick your press conference, and Enfield has reiterated this.
He’s made the academic all-conference list, and is graduating in three years from a top-25 national university.
Thanks for all the love today! 🙏🏾 Also want to use this chance to announce that I have declared for the NBA Draft. HUGE thanks to my teammates, coaches, and all of the great ppl at SC the last 3 yrs have been unforgettable #FightOnForever pic.twitter.com/Ei9irBRsDD
— Chimezie Metu™ (@Chimezie_Metu) March 23, 2018
There’s doubt from experts that this was the right time to leave. There wasn’t that major leap in consistency, something pointed out by NBA Draft Express, from sophomore to junior year.
In many ways, the junior forward is the much the same guy he was a year ago. He scored one more point a game this year, he shooting numbers dipped slightly and his defense ranged from Mutumbo to Brian the Snickers Guy.
He currently ranks anywhere between the late first-round to the mid-second.
Not to mention the extracurricular worries, such as dong punches and sitting out post-season tournaments. Metu, after clutching his knee in the Arizona game, understandably exercised caution by forgoing a meaningless run in the NIT. If you’re a USC fan, though, there’s something bitter about watching the best player on the team voluntarily in street clothes.
Time will tell if NBA executives share the same perspective.
Regardless of all this, Metu undeniably formed the foundation of the recent surge in USC basketball. Even without him, a healthy Bennie Boatwright teams up with a Nick Rakocevic and a bevy of shooters to lead a dark horse squad next year. The program will be fine.
Goodbye, our Dunking Prince of Lawndale.